Well here it is – the first post on my cookery foodie blog and to sweeten things, it’s a dessert.
I couldn’t think of anything better to kick the blog off with so I present my mango baked cheesecake that I made a couple of days ago.
Baked cheesecake is so easy to make but demands waiting around for the end result. Luckily you don’t have to do anything but put your feet up for this part – hurrah! I’ve tried a few cheesecake recipes and have learnt to adapt a few with some of my own minor adjustments.
This recipe is taken from the summer fruit cheesecake in the The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book (page 100-101). However, their books have come under criticism for quite a few errors in measurements, oven settings and cooking times and it’s through trial and error that I’ve managed to figure out a method that works a lot better than what their recipes recommend.
The Hummingbird recipe suggests 35-45 minutes for baking. Well that’s not true. I found the cheesecake actually baked correctly for 55-60 minutes. At 35 minutes your cheesecake is going to be undercooked. Tsk, honestly Hummingbird!
The mixture forms the basis for a creamy, vanilla cheesecake and it’s not particularly sweet. You can then add your choice of fruit: frozen, tinned or (ideally) fresh if the particular fruit is in season. Raspberries are my favourite and with British summer approaching, I anticipate the price of British raspberries to be at least half the price of import ones.
This post uses tinned mangoes. I wanted to use fresh ones but didn’t have time to leave them to ripen more over five days. Fortunately tinned fruit worked very well.
Fruits you could use:
Pineapple or a combination of any of the above if you’re feeling adventurous
For the biscuit base
- 220g (8oz) digestive biscuits
- 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake topping
- 700g (1½lb) full-fat cream cheese such as Philadelphia
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence or vanilla extract
- 120g (4oz) caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 80g-100g (3-3½oz) fruit (large fruit cubed, small as whole pieces) plus extra to decorate
- Whipped soured cream, to serve (optional)
- One 20cm (8 inch diameter) spring-form cake tin
- Rolling pin or a food processor
- Weighing scales
- Palette knife
- Baking parchment
- Hand-hand electrical whisk or a freestanding electric mixer
- Tin foil
- Roasting tin
- Baking sheet
Oven setting: Gas mark 3/160°C/325°F
Serves 8 – 12
- Line the base of the cake tin with baking sheet. For the mango cheesecake I used a slightly wider spring-form cake tin of 23cm. I have made this cheesecake with a 20cm loose-based cake tin as I don’t have a spring-form one in this size. It works, it’s just a little tricky when pushing the cake base through without the risk of dropping the cake therefore a spring-form is more logical. To be honest, it’s not a big deal what diameter cake tin you have. Only the depth of the cheesecake will be the obvious difference.
- Crush the biscuits in a food processor or chopper or place them in a plastic bag, seal it and give it a good whack with the rolling pin. I sound like Jamie Oliver, don’t I?
- Tip the fine biscuit crumbs into a bowl, add the melted butter and mix together with a spoon before adding to the prepared tin, and pressing it into the base with the back of the spoon.
- Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven and make the cheesecake mixture.
- Mix together the cream cheese, vanilla essence and sugar on a medium speed until smooth.
- Break the eggs one by one at a time. I suggest using a ramekin or small bowl and individually breaking the eggs to check for any bloody bits that you can spoon out and discard.
- Mix each egg thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Fold in the fruits gently with a large spoon until they are all fully incorporated into the cheese mixture. Then pour over the biscuit base in the tin.
- Wrap tin foil under the cake tin and around the edges. Then create a water bath (bain marie) by pouring water into a roasting tin (about a cm deep) for the cheesecake to bake in. The moisture/steam created in the oven from the water helps to prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking.
- Run a palette knife around the inside edge of the tin which will help release the mixture from the sides so it doesn’t stick.
- Place in the oven and bake for 55-60 minutes. I have a gas cooker and find this cheesecake requires this length of time to achieve a light-golden colour on top. It should be firm to touch with only a slight wobble in the middle.
- Keeping the cheesecake in the tin, allow it to cool down at room temperature.
- Then place in the fridge to set for a few hours, or ideally overnight.
- Once the cheesecake has set, remove from the tin, decorate with the extra fruit pieces and serve with the whipped soured cream.
That’s it! You can’t go wrong. Just don’t cut corners by using reduced fat cream cheese and don’t think about using salted butter or margarine. They’re not fat for nothing – they contain special agents to hold your cheesecake together. It’ll keep nicely for about three days in the fridge too. Let me know how you get on…